Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to Migrate from a free blog to Custom Domain (Wordpress,Blogspot Users)

Moving from a free blogspot or a wordpress site to a custom domain should be an important step every serious blogger should ponder over. For some blogging can be a hobby, for some it can be their bread and butter.

Though not mandatory, moving to a custom domain can be viewed as an important move in your blogging journey. Most brands, if not all regard bloggers with custom domains with more importance than the ones having their blogs hosted on a free space

Having taken the plunge myself a few months back to get a new domain(if you're reading this you probably know my domain name already from the address bar :) , I feel its one of the most ideal step towards pursuing blogging quite seriously. So here are some easy steps in migrating from Blogspot/Wordpress to a custom domain of your own

For Blogspot.com Users

Step 1 : Purchasing a domain

A domain usually ranges from Rs.600-800 a year (you get the first year for 99rs if you buy for 2 years or more ). You need to keep renewing post that every year once.
Generally ".in" ,".org",".biz",".co.in" are the cheapest at 99 for first year and 600-700 for 2nd year onwards. ".Com" is generally expensive, thanks to their wider reach and will cost you around 250-300 for first year and 700-800 ( from 2nd year onwards)

Blogspot.com users gets free hosting space by Google and hence there's no requirement for buying separately a hosting

Most popular sites for purchasing a domain include : Hostgator, Godaddy.com, BigRock.in, Bluehost.in etc (Ideal to choose an India based company so that you have an Indian number for a call centre).
The domain could be under your own name or any fancy website that you always desired

Step 2 : Entering IP address in Domain Server

Once the domain is bought most of your work is almost complete. The below steps are just to map the domain with the blog and add the server IP to the domain name server

1. Go to www.blogger.com and click on Basics under the Settings tab.

2. In the "Publishing" section, click the link to  "add a custom domain"

3. Type the url of the domain you've purchased, keeping in mind that it must begin with www in  order to work.(eg. www.mywebsite.in). Click Save.

4. You should see an error, and two CNAMEs listed below (note these down separately)
Each CNAME is composed of two parts - Name, Label or Host and Destination, Target or Points To .

5. Login to Godaddy.com or your respective domain registrar's website and locate the DNS (Domain Name System) settings in the control panel . You'll find it under settings - > Manage Domain. Click on your domain name and do the following :

6 . Click on the Add Record link  and select CNAME(Alias) option in Record Type

6.a)    In the first CNAME box type the following  Name = "www" and Points to = "ghs.google.com"like shown below

6.b) Once you finish adding the first CNAME , click on Add Another button .
The second CNAME is particular to your blog and your Google Account, and is therefore different for each person. (Copy paste it from your Blogger.com settings from Step 4)

7 ) Click on Add Another and select A- Records ( This step is required so that people can open your website even if they do not mention a "www" before your domain name ). In Host Box, enter your domain name and in "Points To" box, enter :

Note : You need to repeat Step-7,  4 times to create totally 4 A-Records for the same IP Address

8. After your settings have been activated, you need to make sure Blogger knows about your custom domain so that Google can direct readers to your blog. Just head back to Blogger and update the information on your Settings | Basic tab. Find the area for "Publishing," and click the link to add a custom domain.

For WordPress Users

Step 1 : Purchasing a Domain and Hosting space

Unfortunately Wordpress does not allow for free hosting, if you are migrating to a custom domain on your own. They will either expect you to purchase a hosting option from Wordpress.com itself or from a different vendor outside. This according to me is the biggest downside for a wordpress user and actually came as a bit of shocker. However several companies are offering a free domain when you a buy a Wordpress hosting space.  

So instead of buying a domain , get a hosting plan and you'll get a free ".com" domain along with it. 

Hosting Companies and Charges
The cheapest options would include BaseZap which comes to around 170/month (2.5$ a month) in addition to the domain name charges of around 600/year mentioned above
Highly Recommended Hosting Providers

Here's a list of response/uptime/sites/HRank of all providers for WordPress Hosting Space.

Domain Charges
A domain usually ranges from Rs.600-800 a year (you get the first year for 99rs if you buy for 2 years or more ). You need to keep renewing post that every year once.

Generally ".in" ,".org",".biz",".co.in" are the cheapest at 99 for first year and 600-700 for 2nd year onwards.   ".Com" is generally expensive, thanks to their wider reach and will cost you around 250-300 for first year and 700-800 ( from 2nd year onwards)

Step 2 :  Exporting and Downloading Existing WordPress Blog Data 

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard. For example,
    http://myblog.com/wp-admin, where myblog.com is your domain name.
  2. Click Tools, and then select Export.
  3. Click Download Export File. This saves an XML file to your computer— the file name looks like wordpress.date.xml.
  4. Log out of the WordPress dashboard.
  5. Connect to your existing hosting account using File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
  6. Download the wp-content folder to your computer.

Step 3 :  Exporting and Downloading Existing WordPress Blog Data

To import and upload your personal WordPress blog to our servers, you need to access the new hosting server and WordPress administrator dashboard.

  1. Connect to your new hosting account using File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  2. Upload the previously-exported folder (myblog.com, in our earlier example) and replace the contents of the existing wp-content folder in your new hosting account.
  3. Log in to your new WordPress dashboard. For example,
    http://myblog.com/wp-admin where myblog.com is your domain name.
  4. Click Appearance, and then select Theme.
  5. Select the theme you want, and then click Activate.
  6. Click Tools, and then select Import.
  7. Click WordPress, click Browse to locate the previously saved XML file on your computer, and click OK.
  8. Click Upload file and import.
  9. Click Submit.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Uber's new price calculation feature

Below is an excerpt from Uber for my question on how they are changing how a fare is calculated
It's no longer the #Kms +#Minutes + 30Rs base fare
But its based on a pre-calculated fare (inclusive of surge)  that only ends up pushing the fare estimate by a significant no. If you were expecting fares between 80-100 (depending on traffic), they have safely calculated as 120 as a fixed price (even if the roads somehow get to be empty or an easier alternate route was found).. So you end up shelling more either way..

Here's an example which I took screenshot from my Uber app

See below official reply from Uber for the same :

"This is a follow-up email to your post on Twitter.
I understand you used to get the fare based on distance and time. However it started showing a fixed price as we recently introduced this feature. Happy to clarify this for you.
When you request for an Uber, the price displayed on the app at the beginning of the trip is the fare you'll be charged for the ride, no matter what. These fares are calculated dynamically, based on your pickup and drop off locations. Please note that your upfront price includes any applicable surge pricing in effect when demand is high. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback.
For more clarity, the pricing is not any different from what it was previously, just that we have been displaying at the time of the request itself. If you happen to change your destination while on the trip, your fare would change accordingly. Hope that clarified.
As we work to improve this pricing system on Uber for everyone, we appreciate hearing your perspective. Feel free to reach out any time you have questions or concerns. "

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Shopping Decisions Made Easy

One of the most significant challenge I keep facing is deciding on a good phone , either to buy it myself or recommend a suitable phone for a friend, given their budget and needs. Not only a phone but it applies to any gadget for that matter.

No other industry has such a dynamic shift like mobile technology or even the no of new releases almost every week with upgraded specifications.

Every brand including Motorola, Xiaomi, Samsung ,Lenovo, Asus and Apple has so many variations, models in different price segments making it a very tough process in narrowing it done to 1 or 2. Though an user has many models to choose from, not all models have positive reviews and some has received very poor feedback in terms of performance or stability. So such reviews are very critical while deciding a phone.

Some of the key components that one has to consider while choosing a phone include :

  • Processor
  • Memory
  • Battery Life 
  • Camera
  • Talk time
  • Storage capacity
  • Dual Sim options
  • Weight and Screen Size 
  • Brand name
  • User Reviews

One such site that provides a good recommendation for gadgets is AspectWise.

Aspect Wise (www.aspectwise.in) enables people to make well-informed purchasing decisions by highlighting the good and bad aspects of each gadget based on user reviews. It showcases user opinions and ratings on each aspect of a gadget, and also how it compares to other products in the same price range.

When you login to AspectWise, all you need to do is specify price range and the type of usage. This could be a video buff or a design lover, comfort seeker or even a pro gamer.
One you hit search, AspectWise goes and searches all related mobiles, categorizes the mobiles with the best reviews on top and even provide a link that offers the best price on the net

Shoppers can now quickly go through user comments about specific aspects that concern them, instead of reading through full length reviews. So if you prefer a phone with a good camera, you can quickly read what users have to say specifically about the camera, lens and resolution for different smartphones within your budget consideration.

I tried searching for a phone between 10K and 25K and should be a phone that is compatible for heavy use, has a good camera and also sport a nice design. Below was the result I found

Resulting Link :

Another unique highlight is the AspectWise User Verdict for a gadget, which lets you know how a gadget ranks for different kinds of users, like a mobile might be great for Camera Lovers but not so good for Gamers. For example, the HTC Desire 826 is recommended for Design Fans and Video Buffs, but not for Heavy Users, because of its poor battery life.

The key aspect here is that it doesn't consider the usual marketing hype , but rather considers only genuine user reviews in making the right choice. It uses data mining, natural language processing, sentiment analysis and statistical scoring techniques on the back-end to generate an intelligent summary of user reviews across the web.

AspectWise was founded in May 2016 by Vivek, Anand, Parth and Ankit , who happen to be IIT Bombay Alumni

Monday, June 06, 2016

The New Food Startup in OMR

I was recently introduced by friends of my blogging community to a new restaurant ordering service called LunchPi. Located off Perungudi in OMR, Chennai , this seemed to be an ideal place to order food during work.

Getting bored of the same old food available at work, I was scouring for alternate options and that could also be easier on the wallet

LunchPi had an interesting menu with a multi cuisine option including Italian, Chinese , Indian and other delicacies. The first thing that really caught my eye was their website that had some mouth watering dishes on display. I went ahead and tried a mix of North indian and Chinese foods including some starters, main course and a drink. Everything was perfectly cooked and as soft as it can be.

The food came in probably less than an hour of delivery and the packing was also super efficient. This post goes out to all those people working along the IT corridor in OMR, Chennai and need a good change for lunch or dinner, this might be just it :)

In case you want to order for yourself , you can do that through Zomato from here : https://www.zomato.com/chennai/lunchpi-perungudi/order

or directly through their website http://lunchpi.com/

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Processing Unstructured Data

Evolution of technology at rapid speeds comes with a side effect of generating a huge amount of data. The amount of data generated can run into several gigabytes, available in different structured and unstructured formats. Normal computer systems and low end servers may not have the immediate capability to handle or process such large amounts of data that only keeps increasing every day.

Especially content-centric organizations are facing multiple challenges to meet users evolving search needs and rising expectations

An Enterprise Search Suite Solution

The Digital Group's latest innovation 3RDi(to be read as Third Eye)  provides an answer to these. It's a powerful product, tackling aspects like unstructured content, semantic enrichment, natural language processing, sentiment analysis, smart search, information analysis, data & text analytics using its Cloud API, named Retina. It exploits the unstructured content to yield an intelligent search and discovery solution. 

It even comes pre-configured with certain thesauri and taxonomies to help you jump start on semantic-enabled systems. Next, it automates relevancy management and search validation which is huge for maintaining search accuracy. Further, 3RDi's advanced analytics gives you actionable insights to boost your business. With all these features and more, 3RDi is truly set to revolutionize the enterprise search and discovery solutions.

Apart from blogs and whitepapers, they also have a live Demo ,which  is available immediately worldwide in English, with ready to use High Speed Apache Solr Talend Plugins designed and developed by The Digital Group for faster data transfer between Solr and other data sources.

Do reach out to them at : Website: 3rdisearch.com  or

Facebook:  facebook.com/thedigitalgroupinc or  Twitter:  @thedigtalgroup

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Datsun redi-GO :An ideal Urban Hatchback

I have always wanted a car that gives me much more than just a utility vehicle. A car that quite literally goes the extra mile in giving me that confidence and freedom I’ve always wanted. The car I drive should reflect my personality and actually define me. Being a part of this generation, I have not stopped at anything to achieve something and always wanted more in life. A sense of urgency and willpower has always beckoned me to get that extra zing in life.

Pics Courtesy : https://www.datsun.co.in/redi-GO.html

The ideal car that represents all the above things is finally here. I came across a recent launch by Datsun called redi-Go which epitomizes all these attributes in a fantastic way and it couldn't have been any better. I researched about the car and found innumerable reasons as to why this unique car should be definitely taken out for a good spin.
So how did Datsun redi-Go impress me? As an auto enthusiast, the finer technical aspects and the detailing matters to me more than anything else.

Here are the top 3 features of redi-Go that really stuck me as unique and noteworthy.

1. Design

Everything about the car’s design screams a Japanese signature. The hatchback design is almost perfect and something away from the conventional designs, that we have seen all along. A compact, sleek look and a sporty outlook combined with a robust stance make it a terrific combo. Similar to other Datsun cars, they have an excellent design for both the head lamps and tail lamps that actually stretches from the grille inside to the fender. This adds to a good focussed lighting system which will enable you to not miss the mark

2. Performance

The second most important thing after design is its performance. Even if a car has dashing looks and good interiors, if it fails in the hardware performance, there is little use to it.
The Datsun redi-Go certainly doesn’t disappoint in this aspect as it’s loaded with a 799 cc engine and gives a whopping 25 KM/Litre mileage. The Japanese technology fitted i-SAT engine (Intelligent Spark Automated Technology) as they call it, is designed for a smooth and finer performance and should definitely give you that extra finesse while driving.

3. Safety

A feature that’s overlooked by many top car manufacturers, is incidentally given paramount
importance in Datsun redi-Go. Some of the top safety features include :

  • Reinforced Crash Protection Shel
  • Performance Augmented Braking system
  • Energy Absorbing Steering and Airbag 
Incidentally,Airbags and crash protection shells are something noteworthy for a low end hatchback 

Taking it for a Spin :

If I can get a chance to take this beautiful car out for a drive, I'd probably head to Pondicherry from Chennai. Driving along the east coast road for around 180 KMS, it gives me the opportunity to truly test the car in every aspect and rate it on several parameters

Some of the key things I'd test the car for are as follows :
  • Mileage
  • Ground Clearance : You dont want the bottom of the car to get dents at the slightest hint of a sharp speedbreaker
  • Steering Sensitivity in small streets and during U-Turns
  • Suspension and Car Balance at High Speeds
  • Handling,Shock Absorbing of Car in Bumps/Speedbreakers and potholes

Beating the  Blues

More than a transport vehicle, I'd want to own a car that can mean something to me. When you are stationed in a large metropolitan city, chances are that you are perennially stuck in traffic jams or diverted to small streets because of some procession. So in most of these cases, you'd be wishing for  a car that gives you comfort and allows you to drive in a stress free manner.

The Datsun redi-Go is one such compact car, that gets you to navigate easily even in a small street, make quick turns during a diversion or even lets you quickly park in a small corner than demanding a huge space. To enhance the pleasure of driving, it also comes with a all in one music system, premium sporty fabric and a modernistic dashboard look that

To describe the car in Datsun's words :

Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO - the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.

GenNext - Reducing Gender Inequalities

Every world economic report you read about India would indicate that the country is growing at rapid speeds , GDP growing, inflation at an all time high and most of all a shining mirage of a "To be " Superpower in the making. You find yourself surrounded by high rises and several firms are expanding their operations at a rapid pace with new technologies developing every day. 

Yet amidst all of these , the grim reality in the ground is entirely different. The cities and villages are being plagued by issues something as critical as gender inequality. You may tend to argue that gender inequality existed back in the 70's and 80's but no longer present. Unfortunately statistics tells otherwise. Almost one in three households, women face this major issue of inequality.  More than 90% of the household work have been delegated to women and they are expected to complete by a certain hour. Irrespective of their employment status or the position they are in, end of the day they still have to come back home and finish the chores. Though some houses have employed maids to assist in the work , the women of the household are still expected to monitor and in parallel finish other pending tasks 

In rural areas, even when the woman is sick, she's never relieved of her household duties. She has to get it done somehow with little or no help from the rest of the members in the house. The gender inequality scale seems to tilt to an unfair extend towards the men, especially when it comes to household work

There has been several campaigns that has tried to balance this factor and encouraged men to share the load and get involved in some of the work at house post their official duties. The trend is slowly catching up but a large section of the society still lives on these backward reforms

Gender stereotyping, for classifying who should do what in the house is quite blaringly evident. Almost every work including cooking, cleaning, washing and even managing the house has been assigned to women completely.  Though there are sections of society who no longer believes in such norms, but the majority still seems to follow this outdated logic

Such situations should change drastically at least for the next generations. Education syllabus should continuously try to promote gender equality in all things including household work. Practical classes should also be given to students on respecting woman, her rights and the divide of work. Such campaigns initiated by Ariel is a welcome step in achieving this motto.

Even small game shows can promote gender equality by testing the skill of men in completing household work in short periods of time as against women. This will reflect the kind of hard work, stress and skill women have to put in to balance everything in life

The media also has a critical role to play in this matter. They are responsible in highlighting households that has abolished gender inequality and show examples where men have shared the load in house for all activities. Such examples can really bring about a positive impact in people who may also be willing to try themselves as well.

When you no longer feel shameful for sharing the household work and help out a woman member of the household, without the fear of being teased or insulted , only then you realize that the state of inequality is no longer present, at least within you

I am taking part in the #ShareTheLoad Challenge with Ariel and Akshara at BlogAdda.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

PressPlay TV - An Ideal way to watch TV & Videos Online

One of the most recent tech developments in the media industry is its paradigm shift in focusing on an app based model . Apart from the traditional media channels like TV, Radio and even Youtube , a lot of firms have started engaging through apps / over the top platforms(OTT) for streaming media content, music , movies and even sports

One such large player in this segment is PressPlay TV.  Incidentally PressPlay TV, India’s largest and first ‘Online + Offline’ Independent OTT (Over the Top) platform announced the launch of its iPhone App http://appsto.re/in/PeHGbb.i and for Desktop/Web browser version (http://www.pressplaytv.in/).

This directly enables millions of users in India to directly watch Hindi movies, TV shows, trending internet videos, news, sports, fashion, comedy, and high quality curated content – spanning across more than 50 channels available to stream over the internet. They can do this in the comfort of their homes or while travelling or anywhere they choose to 

PressPlay's CEO has said that the iPhone app will significantly expand their user base, consolidate their position in the smartphone segment and at the same time have a two-fold impact viz. increase in users and at the same time significantly enhancing the average time spent per user on the platform. This will directly make it an even more attractive medium for content creators and advertisers

Beyond Bollywood – Boon for upcoming original content producers
PressPlay TV is innovating not just in the way the content is being delivered but also in the kind of content being offered to users. While offering the regular fare of movies and TV shows, PressPlay TV is spreading its content footprint to ‘Beyond Bollywood’. With more than a million users per month and high time spent per user, it (PressPlay TV) is an ideal platform for upcoming unconventional/original content producers to showcase their videos. The PressPlay TV Hotspot network, already 3000 (going to be 10,000 soon) strong, is engaging users across mobile platforms. The company is already delivering highly localized content across geographies, keeping in view the audience preferences. With the launch of iPhone app the Apple (iPhone) users can continue enjoying their favorite videos after they de-board the train, bus or get out of the Hotspot range.

 Increasing content depth

The company has already firmed up licensing arrangements with various leading and upcoming content innovators viz The Viral Fever, Raghu Dixit Project, LiveFame, Fame, PopXO, Shudh Desi Endings, Sportskeeda TV, Lybrate, NewsMeme, Quick Reaction Team, The Better India, Purani Dilli Talkies etc. Big names like Lehren TV, Sun Network, Sony India, NDTV Gadgets, Fever 104 FM, Autocar etc. are also featuring on the PressPlay TV platform. 

This enables users to get a comprehensive package that includes videos ranging from 2 minute video snippets to the hour long TV shows, movies and other trending internet videos from all other popular genres with just a click

Links to watch PressPlay TV:

IPhone : http://appsto.re/in/PeHGbb.i
Desktop Browser : http://www.pressplaytv.in/

About PressPlay TV 

PressPlay TV is a technology company redefining the way video content is consumed on smartphones/tablets in India. Keeping in view that broadband speed is not consistent across various geographies, a mix of strategically placed PressPlay TV hot spots at malls, buses, railway platforms, coffee shops, trains and other high traffic areas along with online streaming over the internet (3G/4G) have been deployed to deliver uninterrupted high quality video content.

PressPlay TV's business model is advertising based. The company’s USP - viewer captivity and engagement offers very strong value for advertising other brands (other app companies, brands etc.). Another revenue stream for the company will be offering ‘Premium content’. Freemium (Free+Premium content) is the way to go ahead, this model is especially suited for content- based companies like PressPlay. 

Funding :
The company is backed by Sequoia Capital and is one of the fastest growing startups in India. The company has already raised $2.2 Million as seed funding, one of the highest in India from Sequoia Capital.

You can also reach them at :
White Fish Communications - Anil Nagwani - +91 9811268046; anil@wfc.in

However if you are looking for Best Video converters, you can check out the given link.